In computer software development, there is a method called prototyping. It involves  constructing prototypes or incomplete testing versions of what you intend to have as a final product. The incomplete versions are tested by developers (alpha), then the public (beta) and finally released as official versions of the software or application being developed. Each stage of testing is punctuated by improvements intended to mature the software.

We developed Spoken to be a community of mainly South African bloggers (writers) to share opinions, ideas and perspectives. In the process readers and writers can learn from each other and subject their views to public debate in order to enrich them and help inform each other. We strive to attract quality authors while catering for a diverse audience.

The infrastructure for Spoken, both hardware and software, plus the maintenance is made available and done by generous IT Technicians respectively. This means there are no full time technicians developing and maintaining the website. This is the reason why we have opted to use prototyping as a development method and went further to deviate from it by releasing a pre-alpha version to the public that we intend to gradually improve over time. It would be impractical to do things differently as technicians who volunteer their time cannot be held to timelines.

We recently migrated from using Drupal to using WordPress as the blogging platform. Unfortunately, for our regular readers and authors who may have even referenced to the content that was there, we (accidentally) lost all the content that was in the old Drupal website including our backups. We are going to work with the authors who still have copies of their articles to try and restore them as far as possible. We are confident this error won’t happen again.

We are grateful to both our authors and the readers for their patience with us as we strive to evolve this platform of sharing for the outspoken young South Africans. We are also indebted to our IT Technicians for their continued generosity.

Enjoy reading, commenting and sharing the contents of Spoken.

IT technicians who wish to volunteer their time and any website users who wish to suggest improvements can send us an email to

If you wish to become an author, send us a paragraph of who you are and an article you would like to publish as your first on Spoken to